…the story of the House of Stone Properties
By Amanda E Jojo
If there are two words that fittingly describe Leonita Mhishi, they would be tenacity and determination as put by one of her clients. Today, as Chief Executive Officer of House of Stone Properties, Leonita enjoys the rewards of a life of hard work and overcoming monumental hardships and setbacks.
House of Stone Properties is a young and dynamic real estate agency which boasts of some of the best minds on the local real estate market.
After years of humbly side-stepping the limelight, all while committed to being the greatest example of the way property management should be, Leonita is a force to be reckoned with in the real estate industry.
“I have always had a passion for design and architecture. My passion grew in my early twenties when I starting working for an architectural company thereafter a property development company. I’m experienced and results-oriented property consultant. My bosses at the time always pushed me into doing sales and marketing but it took longer for the seed to germinate.
“I am hardworking, tenacious and persistent. I’ve spent the past 15 years learning the ins and outs of this industry and know exactly what I need to do to provide the highest level of real estate solutions and overall coordination of all components required for the smooth operation of any real estate agency,” Leonita told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
Besides her extensive experience in the varying dynamics and complexities of property management, she is a registered legal practitioner and currently awaiting registration as a Registered Estate Agent with the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe, a holder International Marketing Management and ICSA as well as International Relations and Diplomacy.
Leonita’s love for the real estate business is beyond measurable, for her it is a passion that is fulfilling and satisfying.
“It is a calling to serve people of diverse backgrounds that when done well has the potential to facilitate experiences that they can be passed down to posterity,” Leonita said.
The fruition of her dream of founding House of Stone Properties was made possible by the support she got from her family, especially her husband, sister and mother.
“My husband, Lloyd, is the invisible force behind the brand and is the most hardworking and giving person I know. He is quick to guide and advise me on ins and outs of running a business in a cut-throat world amongst other things. On the other hand, I’m a proud by-product of a single mother, my mother taught me what results of hard work, honesty, professionalism and above all else prayer and faith in God can do,” Leonita acknowledged.
Businesswise, her inspiration is anchored on Zimbabwe’s stellar security company founder, Divine Simbi Ndhlukula.
“One of my all time favorite pioneers is, of course, Divine Simbi Ndhlukula, a prominent trailblazer who left a stellar career in formal employment to charter the uncertain waters of entrepreneurship at a time where there were few, if any, female contemporaries to look up to who had walked the same path.
“She broke through a male dominated industry and founded one of Zimbabwe’s premier security companies which continues to grow and maintain success to this day. She makes me want to do the things I cannot do,” Leonita said.
In addition, she also draws inspiration from various women she encounters in different places, entrepreneurs in the making included.
“I get inspiration from the women I encounter everyday in different places here in Zimbabwe, for example at home, my girls Tayana, Nokuda and Minana are entrepreneurs in the making and always ready to lend a hand. Professionally, women like Mrs Vimbai Nyemba, Mrs Loraine Gatsi, Ms Beatrice Mtetwa…they teach me tenacity, resilience, ingenuity and hope.
“They refuse to be cowed by their austere circumstances; choosing instead to show up everyday with pride and grit. They show up for their families and even when life gives them less than they deserve, they keep digging the entrepreneurial trenches of life, hoping against hope and believing that each new day that comes brings with it the opportunity that will move their families forward,” Leonita expressed.
House of Stone Properties boss shared her insights on some of the business nuggets that she wished she had known in the formative years of her entrepreneurial journey. She tapped into the value and potent power that instincts hold.
“I wish I had known earlier in my entrepreneurial journey, the value of trusting my instincts more. Innately built in every individual are instincts that when tapped into more, can give them the ability to leap onto once-in-a-lifetime opportunities; opportunities that if not pounced on at the time they present themselves, may not return again in a long time, maybe ever.
“Instincts can drive you to pounce on the next best idea or deter you from making a blunder that could potentially ruin your reputation so don’t ignore them and let them guide you instead,” she echoed.
She acknowledged how important it is to have a great team of staff that go beyond and above to cater for their clients. House of Stone Properties’ operations are pivoted upon satisfying clients thus the company’s clients are an inseparable part of the entity’s success story.
“This is why we endeavor at great lengths to make their experience satisfying and memorable. Our clients, who inevitably become our family, are the reason we demand more from ourselves on a daily basis. They make us want to serve them with distinction, and I am blessed to have a great team that make everything so effortless especially having a partner like Liane Lombard” she added.
In terms of extending uncompromised service to their clients, Leonita holds the notion that the millennial generation brings an eclectic perspective to the real estate business.
“Service distinction requires one to probe and interrogate various techniques, designs, strategies, paradigms, technologies, etc. It requires one’s imagination of what can be to be unbridled. It demands that hard questions be asked and that engineering ingenuities be pushed to the limits.
“The younger generation is redefining real estate as everything is becoming electronic. We have stepped up and clients are benefiting immensely through our virtual tours cutting down physical viewing time, consequently cutting costs for our clients as well as the business,” she underlined.
The self-confessed adrenalin junkie and sports enthusiast extended profound advice to aspiring and operating entrepreneurs by placing emphasis on the need to pursue excellency, being consistent and offering quality products.
“Remember, the nobility of our existence lies in having a heart that genuinely seeks to serve with excellence and distinction not only when it’s convenient but more so when stretches us beyond what we think we can give. Serve your family, serve your community, serve your environment, serve your clients and most of all, serve your generation.
“While doing this always remember to read, read and read it helps you grow and pushes your imagination and creativity into places it never knew existed,” she said.